Collage!

Southeastern Louisiana Projects 2013-2015

SEQUENCES

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Joseph Incandela. The creature on the tray is the gar. The creature holding the scalpel is Joe.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Their armor is intense y'all! Hard as bone and flexible as chain mail.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

These tinsnips were absolutely necessary. We also used a blunt nosed wire cutter.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

In addition to the tinsnips, scalpel and wire cutter, this drill was also helpful (Dremel 3000). Using it here to create an opening for the tinsnip jaws.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Fish prep, not always a neat process.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

The pectoral fins.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Anal fins.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Nope... not so neat. But effective! In less than half an hour, the fish was skinned, eviscerated and ready to dry -> dermestids.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Joseph Incandela and gar. Again, to clarify, the gar is the raw, long jawed, elongate creature. Joe is...well, also rather elongate but definitely the only one wearing blue nitrile gloves in this photo.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Joe, taking the fish to the beetle colony which is housed well away from the museum collection. Keep browsing MuseumQuestZoology for more info on safe beetle keeping.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

The gar, meeting and greeting the dermestid beetles. A heat lamp was then added on top of the tank to dry the specimen faster which helps prevent mold.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Three weeks later. Not bad! Not quite finished though.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Joe Incandela. Standing in for super villain, "Bane"... who doubles as a collector of zoological specimens and an avid degreaser of fish. Few people know this but Bane wears the mask to protect his body from powerful ammonia fumes. Don't believe me? Google it. You'll see that Bane/Joe is the most misunderstood hell raiser of all time.

Ammonium-Hydroxide-Chemical-Label-LB-1592-011

Ammonium-Hydroxide-Chemical-Label-LB-1592-011

1 part 30% ammonium hydroxide solution : 9 parts water. Pretty much any ammonia solution will do, even from a hardware store. We were classy and used reagent grade from VWR (product link below). It's generally more convenient to dilute a small stock of ammonia concentrate vs buying thinned out gallons of the stuff. However, the concentrated will knock you back a lot harder after you unscrew the lid. You'll need goggles, gloves, a respirator and ideally, a hood (for any concentration).

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Joe, gently, slowly, pouring solution into the gar container/garment container that I bought for this purpose. It came in handy later when I moved to NYC. Plastic is porous and absorbent so yes, my nice things smelled faintly of ammonia for awhile.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Let it sit in the bath. When it was time to change the solution, we used a siphon so as not to disturb the bones.

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

A few weeks later... cleaned, stabilized with glue (paraloid B-72) and ready for storage. End sequence.

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Madagascan hognose snake. Fresh from the freezer where it had sat for 3 days post-removal from the colony. Now it needs the beetles sheds and bodies to be picked off, as well as a some degreasing. Before and afterwards, Joe and I stabilized it with some glue. Joe is glazing some glue on now.

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Joseph Incandela, picking those bones clean. Those supplie (brushes, scalers, pokers, prodders, acetone, various forms of paraloid B-72 adhesive, syringes, all that's missing are snacks), are for bug picking and gluing.

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Joe and the hognose. To clarify, creature Joe, has facial hair whilst creature hognose, does not.

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Later that week... the snake is degreased. For this specimen, I used hydrogen peroxide, administered using a spray bottle (fine mist). This is a method that I came up with on my own. I think I'm the only one doing it. If I die young, this could be my greatest legacy so I hope you'll use it and spread it around.

Pantherophis quadrivittatus

Pantherophis quadrivittatus

Yellow rat snake

Pantherophis quadrivittatus

Pantherophis quadrivittatus

Pantherophis quadrivittatus

Pantherophis quadrivittatus

Voila! Every rib is in place. A snake this stable is maximally portable. You can take it with you on vacation, to the movies, to a meeting or into space. All you need is a sturdy hatbox. I like to prepare pairs of these and wear them as hoop earrings/ unforgettable conversation pieces. Single snakes can be worn as a ring through the nasal septum.

Agkistrodon piscivorous (Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorous (Cottonmouth

I'd never used a bleaching method before and had always wanted to try it. This was a perfect test subject because my beetles wouldn't have wanted it. It was positively rancid. I've dry heaved from bad animals odors only twice in my life: 1) Great blue heron dissection, 2001. 2) This snake right here, 17 March 2014.

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Click the link for a video of tissue being digested by the bleach.

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Click link to see more of this bleaching process

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

After being bleached and rinsed with fresh water and used ethanol, re-positioning some ribs using pins and paraloid B-72 adhesive.

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Ready for storage

Lampropeltis amaura

Lampropeltis amaura

Louisiana milksnake (before)

Lampropeltis amaura

Lampropeltis amaura

Louisiana milksnake (after). Now a skeleton-only! Just two pictures.

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator mississippiensis

An American Alligator hand and a Collection Manager, Danielle Wasserman.

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator mississippiensis

American Alligator hand

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator mississippiensis

American Alligator hand

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator mississippiensis

American Alligator hand. The skin, the carcass and also, the preparator.

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator mississippiensis

American Alligator hand. Now bones only. I used peroxide to whiten and degrease. The bones are individually labeled using an archival micron pen (a staple tool for collections people and artists alike).

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Sometimes, I insert thin, ethafoam strips to help preserve the natural position.

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

It wasn't very effective here because my beetle population was low. A general rule is that skeletons that sit for longer become discolored and disarticulated in comparison to skeletons that are cleaned quickly. Check out the Pantherophis quadrivittatus (yellow rat snake) from earlier. In that snake, the strips worked great.

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Ready for storage

Lithobates sevosus (Gopher frog)

Lithobates sevosus (Gopher frog)

This is a seriously rare species. I tissued it. Now, my friends and mentor are using the DNA in an e-DNA study. #Erica Rottman #Whitney Walkowski #Kyle Piller

Lithobates sevosus (Gopher frog)

Lithobates sevosus (Gopher frog)

Could be the only gopher frog skeleton in the state.

Actually, it's Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)... taxonomic revision,

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Eryx colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

Coluber constrictor (black racer)

Coluber constrictor (black racer)

Coluber constrictor (black racer)

Coluber constrictor (black racer)

Coluber constrictor (black racer)

Coluber constrictor (black racer)

Lampropeltis amaura

Lampropeltis amaura

Louisiana milk snake

Lampropeltis getula

Lampropeltis getula

Eastern Kingsnake

Lampropeltis getula

Lampropeltis getula

Eastern Kingsnake

Lampropeltis niger

Lampropeltis niger

black kingsnake

Lampropeltis niger

Lampropeltis niger

black kingsnake

Pantherophis guttatus

Pantherophis guttatus

corn snake

Pantherophis guttatus

Pantherophis guttatus

Corn snake

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (2/5)

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (2/5)

Yellow rat snake

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (3/5)

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (3/5)

Yellow rat snake

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (4/5)

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (4/5)

Yellow rat snake

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (5/5)

Pantherophis quadrivittatus (5/5)

Yellow rat snake

Nerodia rhombifera

Nerodia rhombifera

Diamondback watersnake

Nerodia rhombifera

Nerodia rhombifera

diamondback watersnake

Thamnophis proximus

Thamnophis proximus

Western ribbon snake

Thamnophis proximus

Thamnophis proximus

Western ribbon snake

Farancia abacura (1/2)

Farancia abacura (1/2)

Farancia abacura (2/2)

Farancia abacura (2/2)

Heterodon nasicus

Heterodon nasicus

Western hognose snake

Heterodon nasicus

Heterodon nasicus

Western hognose snake

Heterodon nasicus

Heterodon nasicus

Western hognose snake

Heterodon platirhinos

Heterodon platirhinos

Eastern hognose snake

Heterodon platirhinos

Heterodon platirhinos

Eastern hognose snake

Nerodia fasciata (1/2)

Nerodia fasciata (1/2)

Nerodia fasciata

Nerodia fasciata

Banded water snake

Regina rigida

Regina rigida

Crayfish snake

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Agkistrodon piscivorous

Cottonmouth

SNAKES

Atractosteous osseous

Atractosteous osseous

IMG_2171

IMG_2171

Picasa - IMAG0931_edited

Picasa - IMAG0931_edited

Amphiuma means

Amphiuma means

Trachemys scripta (1/2)

Trachemys scripta (1/2)

IMG_2307_edited

IMG_2307_edited

Macrochelys temminkii (1/3)

Macrochelys temminkii (1/3)

Macrochelys temminkii (2/3)

Macrochelys temminkii (2/3)

Macrochelys temminkii (3/3)

Macrochelys temminkii (3/3)

Apalone spinifera (1/2)

Apalone spinifera (1/2)

Apalone spinifera (2/2)

Apalone spinifera (2/2)

A chelydrid sp. (1/2)

A chelydrid sp. (1/2)

A chelydrid sp. (2/2)

A chelydrid sp. (2/2)

Alligator mississippiensis (1/3)

Alligator mississippiensis (1/3)

Alligator mississippiensis (2/3)

Alligator mississippiensis (2/3)

IMG_2314

IMG_2314

Alligator mississippiensis (3/3)

Alligator mississippiensis (3/3)

Pogona sp.

Pogona sp.

Pogona sp.

Pogona sp.

Pogona sp.

Pogona sp.

Lithobates sevosus (1/2)

Lithobates sevosus (1/2)

Lithobates sevosus (2/2)

Lithobates sevosus (2/2)

RARE!

Ambystoma opacum (1/2)

Ambystoma opacum (1/2)

RARE!

Ambystoma opacum (2/2)

Ambystoma opacum (2/2)

ALL OTHERS

┬ęDWasserman Oct 2019

 
 

Atractosteus osseus (Alligator gar)

Joseph Incandela and gar. Again, to clarify, the gar is the raw, long jawed, elongate creature. Joe is...well, also rather elongate but definitely the only one wearing blue nitrile gloves in this photo.